The Yankees announced today that third baseman Josh Donaldson has been transferred from the COVID-19 Injured List to the 10-day injured list, retroactive to May 24, due to right shoulder inflammation. While he was on the COVID IL, he wasn’t counting against the team’s 40-man roster, meaning a corresponding move was required in that department, which the club announced as Chad Green being transferred to the 60-day IL.
The news is surely something of a disappointment for the Yankees and their fans. Donaldson, 36, had been on the COVID list for the past few days due to experiencing symptoms. But since he continued to test negative, it seemed possible that he could make a quick return once those symptoms abated. Now it seems he will be out for at least another week due to this shoulder issue. This isn’t the first time that Donaldson has been held back by shoulder inflammation, as the same injury landed him on the injured list for about two weeks while with the Blue Jays in April 2018.
Acquired from the Twins in an offseason trade, Donaldson’s tenure in the Bronx is off to a good start. Through 37 games, he’s hitting .238/.349/.415 for a wRC+ of 130 as the club is currently sitting on a record of 32-13, the best in baseball. Donaldson’s contributions will now continue to be on hold while he recuperates. Manager Aaron Boone told reporters, including Lindsey Adler of The Athletic, that the injury has been bugging Donaldson for a while. He received a cortisone shot this week with the club hopeful he’s not facing an extended absence.
With Donaldson out of action, the logical backup plan would have been to use DJ LeMahieu at third base, though he’s been dealing with left wrist discomfort and hasn’t appeared in a game since Monday. Adler relays word from Boone that LeMahieu’s condition has improved enough that he could appear in the game at some point tonight, though he isn’t in the starting lineup. Marwin Gonzalez has been getting the starts at the hot corner lately and figures to do so until LeMahieu and/or Donaldson are eligible to return.
The transfer of Green to the 60-day IL is a mere formality, as it was announced earlier this week that he will require Tommy John surgery. That will keep him out of action for the remainder of this year and at least part of next season as well.